100 Word of the Year Ideas to Live Your Best MomLife

100 Word of the Year Ideas to Live Your Best MomLife

2019 is winding down, and preparations for 2020 are already underway for many. Instead of a resolution, have you thought about trying one of these word fo the year ideas?

I love these 100 word of the year ideas you can use as a way to guide your intentions, goals, choices, and overall plans for 2020. Since I started creating a word of the year

What is a word of the year?

A word of the year is exactly as the name implies. It is a word you choose to be a theme for you for the year. This word will help guide you and your choices as you grow and develop throughout the year. The first step is coming up with word of the year ideas that work for you.

Why is choosing a word of the year a good idea?

For a lot of people, resolutions just don’t really work.

But there is something special about setting an intention for a year that helps you reach your goals. Choose a word from your word of the year ideas that encompasses what you are aiming for, or perhaps how you want to feel, is a great way to set the tone for the year without getting too specific.

How do you choose a word of the year?

You could simply pick a word out of a hat if you’d like to leave it up to fate, but getting in touch with where you’d like to be at the end of the year and then finding a word that would help move you in that direction might work better.

Journaling is a great way to get in touch with where you are and where you want to go in order to get some of the best word of the year ideas for yourself.

If just one word doesn’t work, you could also choose a phrase or even a short quote. But don’t get too detailed or long. The point is for this to be a theme, and the more you add the more complicated it will become.

Word of the Year Ideas

  1. Transformation
  2. Abundance
  3. Achieve
  4. Love
  5. Disciplined
  6. Steadfast
  7. Strong
  8. Surrender
  9. Faith
  10. Hope
  11. Growth
  12. Intentional
  13. Creative
  14. Empowered
  15. Magical
  16. Sparkle
  17. Shine
  18. Receive
  19. Spiritual
  20. Nurture
  21. Self-love
  22. Self-care
  23. Depth
  24. Energy
  25. Healing
  26. Uplevel
  27. Adventure
  28. Excitement
  29. Expansion
  30. Decadence
  31. Sexy
  32. Sensual
  33. Nature
  34. Travel
  35. Rebirth
  36. Luxury
  37. Friendship
  38. Marriage
  39. Partnership
  40. Relationships
  41. Motherhood
  42. Birth
  43. Acceptance
  44. Peace
  45. Calm
  46. Meditate
  47. Mindful
  48. Minimal
  49. Beauty
  50. Happy
  51. Connection
  52. Bliss
  53. Vivacious
  54. Gentle
  55. Enchanting
  56. Blessed
  57. Optimistic
  58. Laugh
  59. Joy
  60. Euphoric
  61. Jubilee
  62. Confidence
  63. Trust
  64. Bright
  65. Ease
  66. Simple
  67. Positive
  68. Determination
  69. Resilience
  70. Brave
  71. Courage
  72. Vulnerable
  73. Tenacious
  74. Bold
  75. Daring
  76. Fearless
  77. Audacious
  78. Grateful
  79. Spunky
  80. Delighted
  81. Pleasure
  82. Fruitful
  83. Jolly
  84. Charming
  85. Magnetic
  86. Bewitching
  87. Alluring
  88. Glamourous
  89. Grace
  90. Elegance
  91. Finesse
  92. Refined
  93. Stylish
  94. Balance
  95. Comfort
  96. Hygge
  97. Prosperity
  98. Entrepreneur
  99. Rest
  100. Quiet

Hopefully, these 100 word of the year ideas spark some inspiration for you, and if you’re looking for more word of the year ideas, check out this Pinterest Board we created.

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15 Quotes for Following Your Dreams

15 Quotes for Following Your Dreams

Dreaming of accomplishing some big goals soon? These quotes for following your dreams will keep you going when you need some inspiration.

 

Need some inspirational quotes for following your dreams? When you are setting big goals for yourself, you’ll inevitably hit roadblocks.

These quotes for following your dreams will give you a little inspiration for when the going gets tough. Pull it together and get back out there mama. You got this!

A lot of these quotes actually talk about failure, stumbling blocks, being different, and embracing risk. 

What I have learned about following your dreams and reaching your goals is that you have to be willing to feel uncomfortable. It rarely happens how you imagine and usually comes with a bit of struggle. 

That’s ok. That’s how it is supposed to be. If following your dreams was easy, everyone would do it. It takes commitment, a willingness to get it wrong sometimes, and courage. 

But it IS possible to follow and reach your dreams and goals. 

Hopefully these quotes for following your dreams will help you get there.

(Quick heads up this post might contain affiliate links, meaning if you purchase anything I recommend, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

1. “If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be” -Maya Angelou

2. “Not till we are lost… do we begin to find ourselves again.” -Thoreau

3. “She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blog her away, she adjusted her sails.” -Elizabeth Edwards

4. “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

5. “Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.”

6. “It never get easier, you just get better.”

7. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

8. “Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.”

9. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

10. “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.”

11. “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”

12. “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”

13. “Don’t wait for an opportunity. Create it.”

14. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

15. “You only fail when you stop trying.”

Which quote for following your dreams was your favorite? Share below in the comments!

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5 Steps to Forming Habits for Busy Moms

5 Steps to Forming Habits for Busy Moms

The only thing that might be as hard as quitting an old habit, is forming habits you want to cultivate. These 5 steps will help you start new habits, and actually keep them.

This last year I have been extra committed to making some improvements in my life. I didn’t feel like I was living life to the fullest, being the best mom possible, or accomplishing my goals as quickly as I’d like. I decided it was time for a revamp so I could start forming habits that worked for me.

It’s been a learning process, and not an easy one either. The breakthroughs that have come are the product of years of work on figuring out my blocks and releasing them so that I could get to a point of focusing on habits.

But if I would have had a better handle on the process of forming habits that are working for me right now, it wouldn’t have taken me nearly as long.

Before I dive in, I just want to explain briefly, why habits matter.

A habit is basically something you do on autopilot. You don’t really think about it anymore, you just do it.

Forming habits is incredibly effective for attaining your goals and getting some control over your life. The alternative is to be a slave to your unconscious or negative habits, and as someone who is an ex-smoker, that is NOT a fun way to live.

So let’s dive into 5 ways to start forming habits that work now.

1. Start small

In January 2019, I interviewed Dana Skoglund on the MomUp Show, and she coached me through the process of creating a new habit. (Listen in here)

The biggest takeaway I had from that was to start with something pretty small, and have a plan for HOW to make it happen. The plan I have created now is to get myself into routines that I’ve built on over time after starting with a very small step.

The small habit I have formed that has driven massive change is to simply drink an entire glass of water and take my vitamins every day first thing in the morning.

From getting into that one small habit, I have been able to create routines for my days, weeks, and months. Through creating those routines, I’ve started forming habits by doing the same things repeatedly every day to the point that I don’t have to think so hard about it.

But it all started with something small and doable. I rarely make big changes to my habits or routines, but rather focus on small changes that are compounded over time.

2. Track your progress

My mantra for creating habits and personal growth, in general, is to focus on progress over perfection.

For a long time, I didn’t keep track of the progress I had made in any formal way. I think because I wasn’t necessarily perfect at achieving all of my goals, I felt too ashamed to track whether I was hitting them or not.

But what I’ve found is that with the right mindset, tracking my progress on a daily basis is integral in forming habits.

The way I track my progress is simply by writing down a list of habits I want to work on at the beginning of each month and then noting whether I did them at the end of each day.

I really don’t even have the goal of completing each and every single new habit I’m working on. My goal is really just to TRACK whether I did it.

It’s a lot easier for my mind to accept the idea that I am just tracking whether I completed some tasks vs. the heaviness of feeling like I have to actually do the task.

It is a slight mindset shift from focusing on the work that intends to do to just committing to evaluating whether the work is done at the end of the day or not.

On the surface, this seems like it would not work at all, but it works like a charm for me. My biggest stumbling block to forming new habits is simple remember to do it

Tracking whether in do the tasks I need to do to create new habits alone is a reminder to do them.

3. Evaluate, but don’t judge yourself

Tracking your progress, or lack thereof is an opportunity for you to judge and shame yourself for not following through in forming habits.

But let’s avoid that by sticking with that mantra of progress over perfection.

Think about it this way, you wouldn’t shame or judge your child for imperfection when acquiring new skills, would you? (If you would, that’s another discussion…)

You would, however, keep tabs on how they were progressing and be there to support them in any way possible.

That’s how you need to approach yourself in the process of this forming habits. You will have to basically be your own parent, be your own mom.

Being your own mom means disciplining yourself, but not shaming yourself.

Remember, this evaluation is basically a form of self-love and self-care. Just like it isn’t loving to shame yourself, it also isn’t loving to let yourself off the hook without taking a look at why you aren’t meeting your goal of forming habits.

So look at what you were able to do and what you weren’t, and evaluate WHY.

Did you miss going to the gym every day because you were running too late every morning? Or was it because you didn’t have a single pair of clean yoga pants left?

The evaluation process isn’t just about tallying up your total number of days you completed your new habits you’re working on, but it’s also about evaluating what worked and what didn’t.

4. Make adjustments

Once you evaluate what happened, then you can make adjustments.

If things didn’t go so well then you can brainstorm ways to better support yourself. Perhaps laying out your clothes the night before will help you be on time to get to the gym. Or maybe you want to start taking vitamins, so setting them on next to your coffee the night before would be a reminder.

Figure out how you can be a better ally to yourself, and make those changes for forming habits.

5. Try again

Don’t give up.

Sometimes when we screw up or don’t succeed on the first attempt, we are tempted to throw in the towel. But being consistent isn’t just about never failing.

It’s also about just being consistent about showing up.

One thing I literally wrote in my gratitude journal this evening was that I am so proud of myself and grateful to my past selves for not giving up. Even when I kept failing at establishing new habits and achieve my goals, I didn’t give up.

If there is one thing I have always done when something is important to me is keep going. Keep trying.

It’s almost unheard of for someone to be successful at their first attempt at anything.

So just keep going. You got this!

Forming habits and achieving your goals long term isn’t always easy, but it IS doable! What do you think? Any tips for forming habits or crushing your goals? Share them in the comments below!

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Grateful vs. Thankful, What’s the Difference?

Grateful vs. Thankful, What’s the Difference?

As I sat down to think about all that I am grateful for on this Thanksgiving, I started to wonder, what’s the difference in being grateful vs. thankful?

Do you ever notice how we use some words interchangeably without really knowing if they mean the same thing? We tend to do this with grateful vs. thankful, and toss is gratitude and thankfulness as if they are synonyms.

To determine if they truly do mean the same thing, the first place I started was a quick google search for the definitions of grateful vs. thankful.

Grateful vs. Thankful according to Merrium-Webster

And here is what I found:

Definition of grateful

1a: appreciative of benefits received

1b: expressing gratitude grateful thanks

2a: affording pleasure or contentment PLEASING

2b: pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated

Definition of thankful

1: conscious of benefit received for what we are about to receive make us truly thankful

2: expressive of thanksthankful service

3: well pleased GLAD was thankful that it didn’t rain

Is being grateful the same thing as thankful after all?

When you look at the definitions of grateful vs. thankful, there isn’t really much discernible difference.

In fact, Merriam-Webster seems to almost use the two words interchangeably and as synonyms.

Well… ALMOST.

If you pay close attention you’ll notice that they list thankful as a synonym for grateful, but grateful is NOT listed as a synonym for thankful. They do, however, list gratified as a synonym for thankful.

Weird, right? What’s up with that?

As I was reading the definitions on the screen with grateful vs. thankful, I couldn’t make a huge distinction between the definitions, it still felt like there WAS an actualy difference. The fact that they aren’t both considered synonyms for each other seemed to mean something in my mind.

The key is in the difference between gratitude and thankfulness

When I thought about it, the thing that distinguishes the two ideas to me is the idea of possession.

You can HAVE gratitude. It’s something you possess. Even as you express your gratitude, it feels like it’s something that is deeply felt inside of you.

When I think about being thankful and showing thanks, I don’t have a sense that this is something that I can hold and feel and keep inside of me the same way that I can HAVE gratitude.

Perhaps part of this is because we use the word “thanks” or “thank you” incredible casually nowadays.

We give thanks to people all the time whether we truly mean it or not. It’s just a standard reply for things as small as getting change from a cashier or someone letting you know you dropped your receipt at the grocrey store.

But to say that we are grateful for something feels a bit weightier. It feels like there’s almost a ritual to it.

Think about it. If someone picks up an item you dropped and handed it to you, you might say “I appreciate it, thanks.” Or something to that effect, but will you ever say “I am grateful to you for that.”

There is a formality to the idea of gratitude and being grateful vs. thankful that is worth distinguishing.

This formality behind gratitude to me stems from the notion that gratitude IS something that happens inside of us, and while we can express that gratitude as thanks to a person, the gratitude really is MOST beneficial for US, not THEM.

Think about it.

Having a gratitude practice isn’t something we do show someone else how much we love and appreciate them. It’s something we do to remind ourselves of what we are grateful for because it makes us feel better about life.

Thanks, on the other hand, is something that we show to someone else. Perhaps it is almost a manifestation of gratitude.

But hey, I’m no expert on the subject, just giving my two cents on my sense about whether there’s a real difference when it comes to grateful vs. thankful. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

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Dear Moms, Please Never Give Up On Your Dreams.

Feeling a little trapped in motherhood? Being a mom is the most rewarding role, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an identity outside of our momlife. It’s hard, but mama, never give up on your dreams, even when it seems impossible.

Saying to never give up on your dreams is easier than doing it, but part of maintaining an identity of your own as a mom means having boundaries around what is important to you.

(Pssst… Quick heads up this post may contain affiliate links.)

I went to see Frozen 2 over the weekend with my daughter for her 5th birthday, and besides just being an all-around awesome movie, it has really hit me hard.

Without being too spoilery, one of the main points of the movie is Elsa learning about who she is and following a voice inside of her that keeps telling her to go “into the unknown.” There’s a feeling she has that is calling to her, and she has to make a choice whether to stay in her comfortable bubble or to strike out to find it, risking everything.

What if I could go into the unknown?

As much as I love being a mom, and writing about being a mom, I feel a call to do more. To be more. To pull something more out of myself that has long been dormant or perhaps never even explored.

I’ve been mulling over this idea of exploring my own unknown desires, passions, and purpose for a few days and then I watched a show called “Encore” on Disney Plus.

In this show, casts who performed musicals together in high school reunite to recreate the show many years later.

One of the episodes featured a stay-at-home mom who reprised her role as the title character in Annie. Playing Annie in high school was something this mom held onto as part of her. Something special, something she could hold onto even in the midst of motherhood.

It brought back memories of trying out for a community theater production of Annie when I was a little girl. I didn’t get the part, and that ended my attempts at musical theater.

I’m not a bad singer. I probably have a better voice than a lot of people, but I’m no Whitney Houston, either.

Though always wondered… What if I had tried harder? What if I had gotten voice lessons? What if I had gone for it instead of being deterred by one failure? What if someone would have told me to never give up on your dreams? Or even acknowledged that this kind of dream was ok to have.

I realized that I had given up on a dream before it even had a chance to really take root or get off the ground. And the kicker? While becoming a famous singer or actress would, of course, have been cool, that wasn’t even the dream.

The dream was just to sing. To perform. To be part of something creative.

And in this realization, I had to tell myself to now as a grown woman and a mother to never give up on your dreams.

Even if playing Annie on broadway isn’t a reality for me right now, just singing is definitely on the table. I can sing right now. As I type.

In fact, I even took a short typing break to belt out a few lines from the first Frozen that my daughter has blasting on our living room TV

Pursuing dreams as a mom

The first step in a dream is to actually allow that dream some space to breathe. Right now I can do my best Elsa impression and sing along with the TV, but what’s next?

How can I take one small step towards just seeing if the dream of singing is truly something that I need to pursue?

What are my options give that I don’t have unlimited resources to throw into something that is purely to scratch an itch for myself?

The answer to this one is pretty easy actually.

Every week I take my daughter to piano and singing classes. What if I just start taking voice lessons once a week, or even once every other week? What if I don’t even commit to going regularly, but see if I can just take one single class and try that on for size?

Thinking through these tiny steps makes it more realistic to never give up on your dreams.

What’s stopping you?

I could make some small steps towards my dreams happen. So the question then is, what’s stopping me? If I’ve decided it’s I want to live with the mantra to never give up on your dreams, why haven’t I taken the leap?

Ultimately it’s fear.

Trying something new can be scary. What if I embarrass myself? What if it is an epic fail?

Well, that’s the risk I’ll have to take, and everyone has to take if you decide to never give up on your dreams.

You have to risk failure.

In fact, failing is a good thing. If you never fail, it means you’re never trying.

It’s time to fail. To dream. To fail again. To dream some more.

Instead of staying stuck in the chaos of motherhood and never reaching for more for myself, I’m ready to take a chance. What about you? Ready to decide to never give up on your dreams? Let me know in the comments below.

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3 Simple Ways to Be a Mindful Mom

It is so easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out as a mom, am I right? The easiest way to combat it is to become more present and a more mindful mom to ditch the stress and chill the F out.

What does it even mean to be a mindful mom? Glad you asked. Let’s talk about how learning to practice mindfulness in your life has incredible benefits and it has personally helped me do everything from battle depression to quit smoking to totally rock motherhood.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is basically to be aware of and IN the present moment.

But to get a little deeper, according to the Oxford dictionary, mindfulness is: “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

Why is mindfulness important?

Mindfulness has been shown to decrease stress, help relationships, increase cognitive function, and be less emotionally reactive.

It’s so easy to get caught inside your own mind, inside negative thinking patterns, and lose touch with what is really going on in your world. Mindfulness helps you to get out of those thought patterns and more in touch with yourself and the world around you.

How mindfulness helps you be a chill mom (instead of angry mom)

You know how those little wildlings will just push that button of yours one too many times until you finally snap and yell at them? (We’ve all been there, many times…)

Practicing mindfulness helps you to control your responses to stress and your emotions. So instead of being ruled by your emotions, and the whims of tiny ones, you are in control.

So let’s dive into 3 simple ways to can be a more mindful mom. These are simple practices I use in my daily life that help me to be in the moment, let go of stress and worry, and be more present with my kids.

1. Slow down and focus on the little things

My kids eat an unbelievable amount of grapes. I think it’s collectively the favorite food in my home, and like any mom paranoid about safety, I quarter the grapes.

This means I spent a lot of my time standing at my kitchen island, quartering grapes.

I used to rush the process, just trying to get that task done so I could move onto something else from my to-do list.

But now, I take my time. I feel the way the squishy grapes feel under my fingers. I try to empty my mind of anything else besides the menial and simple task of cutting up grapes.

For many of us, sitting down and meditating for even a few minutes a day seems daunting or confusing. But just simply focusing completely on one small task that we do regularly is simple enough, right?

Think about one small task that you do daily that you can set as your time to get yourself present and let go of the day’s worries.

2. Use routines with your kids to be more “in the moment”

How often are you playing with your kids, reading them a book, going for a walk, or doing a million other little things with your kids, but your mind is a million miles away. Usually, thinking about all the things you need to get done, right?

Our brains need a break, mama.

I’ve created little pockets of time throughout the day and week for me to just be with my kids without worry about what I “should” be doing. The beauty of it is because I have crafted it into our routines, it IS what I “should” be doing. So it is easier to let go of everything else and just be there fully with them, embracing being a mindful mom.

For example, each morning I do a “circle” time with my kids. It is simple, consisting of singing a couple of little songs and reading some books, maybe a little lesson.

During this time I am doing nothing but completely engaging in these activities WITH my kids. So not only am I getting the benefit of being totally in the moment and present, but my kids are too!

So often we are distracted when our kids are vying for our attention. Creating time in your day/week to just be with them without anything else filling your mind is one of the best things you can do for them.

3. Detox from tech

Ever pick up your phone to check the weather, and 15 minutes later your deep into IG, and you didn’t even open the weather app?

Me too.

It happens.

We get easily distracted. I mean… our phones and the apps on them are specifically designed to distract us and trap us in them for as long as possible.

It’s not you, it’s them.

But there is something you can do about it.

Delete the apps from your phone and block the websites from your browser.

I am not so great at moderation. For me, I sometimes need to go cold turkey and completely abstain from something I am trying to cut back on, at least for a time.

I found that I was getting so caught up in Facebook. Not only was I spending too much time on the site scrolling mindlessly, but I was also letting it get to me psychologically and emotionally.

Of course, there is the comparison to others, but also, I had all these other people’s thoughts and ideas inside of my head, it was hard to discern what was mine and what was their’s from a post I read 5 minutes ago.

So I ditched it all.

I do check in on my blog pages and profiles, but I don’t do the scroll anymore. Feeds are off-limits to me. And I am SO MUCH HAPPIER AND PRESENT.

This is by far the BEST thing I have done to be a more mindful mom and get super present in my daily life.

Do what works for you

These are the three simple things I’ve done in my life to be a more mindful mom, but maybe you have other ideas? I’d love to hear what works for you to get rid of the mom stress, be more present, mindful, and happy.

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